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Bug Cellphones Communications Encryption Portables (Apple) Security Hardware

Tapping the IPhone, Courtesy of Yahoo! 27

Posted by timothy
from the when-tumblers-align dept.
tdalek writes "You may remember the recent Slashdot article about Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop exposing authentication information. It turns out that more Yahoo! applications are affected, although to a lesser degree. With Yahoo!'s desktop program, it transmitted the usernames and passwords in plaintext. Yahoo! is one of the lucky few default e-mail providers on the iPhone; sadly it looks like Apple didn't insist on encryption from Yahoo! On the iPhone, authentication is encrypted, but you can see all the messages sent and received in plaintext. Incoming messages are downloaded in plaintext over the standard imap port. Outgoing mail is a bit harder to find, it is apparently sent by an HTTP post request wrapped up inside a bundle of XML, but security through obscurity isn't very effective. If you have Yahoo! mail on your iPhone (and since its one of the default accounts, I'm assuming quite a few do), now would be a good time to forward it elsewhere for the time being."
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Tapping the IPhone, Courtesy of Yahoo!

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  • It's an interesting article, but couldn't /. help the guy out with the text?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

      It's an interesting article, but couldn't /. help the guy out with the text?

      It turns out that more that other Slashdot editors busy other things.

  • by NekoXP (67564) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:48PM (#25320267) Homepage

    Wow, someone actually uses an internet standard email solution and everyone complains. Be happy they actually use IMAP, god damn it. You wouldn't get that from Microsoft.

    So it's not done over SSL or TLS, that's unfortunate, but this isn't a bug, it's a lack of a feature. Who's going to be snooping your email traffic from an iPhone anyway? It's encrypted up to the point it gets out of the cell network, and if you're using WPA for your WiFi connection if you're near a decent access point, and someone would have to really work hard to actually get at your data.

    God forbid the billions of SMTP servers transmitting your mail around the world (personally I use Google Apps so I get to use TLS to send my mail to them, but it will go out from Google to whatever other server in plaintext) too.

    This state of affairs is incredible! I mean.. what is the world coming to? Excuse me while I slit my wrists..

    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      ...and if you're using WPA for your WiFi connection if you're near a decent access point,...

      Please keep in mind we are talking about iPhone users with yahoo email accounts here. All of that 'find out the WPA key, type it in, get it wrong, type it in again' stuff is so tedious. Especially when there is an access point labelled "Free WIFI" visible without all that annoying security key stuff to deal with. Just connect to that one real quick and check email before the bus/plane/whatever gets here.

      • by NekoXP (67564)

        Doesn't that basically come under the category "they don't give a shit about security, so who cares?"

    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:05PM (#25320517)

      Wow, someone actually uses an internet standard email solution and everyone complains...This state of affairs is incredible! I mean.. what is the world coming to? Excuse me while I slit my wrists.

      You're right, they're clearly overreacting.

    • by bahamat (187909) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:23PM (#25321513) Homepage

      It's not "an internet standard email solution". They use a proprietary and embarrassingly insecure login sequence which can be replayed to gain access to a user's mail at any time.

      It's already been documented:
      http://blog.dave.cridland.net/?p=32 [cridland.net]

      And let's all welcome Timothy to last year, because it's been around for a while.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rsborg (111459)

      So it's not done over SSL or TLS, that's unfortunate, but this isn't a bug, it's a lack of a feature. Who's going to be snooping your email traffic from an iPhone anyway?

      Non-secure public WiFi? That's quite common and very vulnerable to hacking. Of course, I use imap+gmail+SSL, but this was a bad idea.

      I still feel that Yahoo doesn't really take security seriously, in that you can't really force yahoo mail to go secure over https like Google can (it only secures the login page).

  • I don't actually understand the point of this message. You either use IMAP over SSL (or POP, for that matter) or you don't. If you don't, it's not encrypted. Why would you expect it to be?

  • You can't really "Tap the iphone" because of Yahoo, just possibly read unencrypted Yahoo mail. I really don't see what is different between this and somebody on a laptop using wireless to check their email through standard (unencrypted) pop and/or imap. On another note, who really cares? If you are using a Yahoo account for super secret things (trade/industry secrets, government secrets, etc), then you are dumb. If you are using a Yahoo account to talk to your aunt Mabel and get the latest C1Al!5 spam l
  • This warrants a heading like "Tapping The iPhone"? Har har, Slashdot. Way to give those banner ads another 50,000 rotations.

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